TransLink to accept debit cards on buses, Skytrain gates

System expected to be in place by end of 2022

compass card
Compass card gates already accept credit cards for payments | TransLink

Metro Vancouver transit operator TransLink is upgrading its Compass card reader technology to enable passengers to tap Interac debit cards to pay for fares by the end of 2022.

TransLink has accepted credit cards for payment since May, 2018, after embarking on what it called Compass 2.0 in 2017.

The move to also accept debit cards at Compass card readers would make TransLink the first transit agency in Canada to fully integrate Interac debit card payments across a regional transit system. 

TransLink already accepts debit cards at its transit station vending machines.

The broader acceptance of debit cards means that casual users and tourists will have another option to quickly pay for single rides, without using credit cards, paying with cash or pre-purchasing fare tickets at transit stations. 

TransLink is upgrading more than 5,000 Compass card readers across its network. Compass card readers are on buses as well as at SkyTrain and Canada Line stations. 

Staff at TransLink, Interac and Cubic Transportation Systems are coordinating the change. Once complete, Compass card readers will be able to accept credit cards, debit cards and other payment technologies, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay Wallet.

"It’s important that we continue to be innovative to make transit an even more attractive transportation option," said TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn.